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A phone number sold for nearly half a million dollar

By Kim Thuy, Thu Ha   March 29, 2016 | 06:58 pm GMT+7

In Vietnam, it is not only luxury brands that are used to show off wealth, sometimes just a cell phone number will do.

It is widely believed in Vietnam that a cell phone number will influence your well-being: good numbers will bring luck and prosperity, while bad ones will adversely affect your business and relationships.

That is why people are willing to shell out tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy a lucky number.

Earlier this month, Nguyen Ngoc Nghia, the owner of a chain of jewelry stores in Thai Binh province sold his cell phone number - 0960 999 999 - for nearly VND10 billion (almost $450,000). The buyer was Phai Minh Phuong, an investor in lucky cell phone numbers from Ho Chi Minh City. Phuong said that he would use the number for private contacts.

In 2015, the chairman of taxi operator Mai Linh Group sold his cell phone number for VND5 billion ($225,000). At present, the number is valued at VND10 billion (almost $450,000), so it seems it literally is a lucky number.

Lucky numbers might be different for each person, and there are many different ways to define if a number is lucky or not. Some will choose a number based on their birthday, while others will buy ones which have a pronunciation close to words like prosperity, wealth, thriving, development, and so on.

For example, number six represents a windfall of money; number eight means thriving and number nine resembles longevity. People tend to choose a phone number which has these digits, and the more the better.

The pattern of the number is also an important aspect in determining if a number is lucky or not. For example, because of its pronunciation, the number 68 indicates ongoing prosperity.

The above-mentioned cell phone number 0960 999 999, which was sold for VND10 billion (almost $450,000), was defined as extremely lucky because it has six consecutive 9s at the end. The 6-9 combination here means prosperity will never end.  

As people believe that a number can also bring bad luck, there are several numbers people avoid when they buy a sim card.

Generally, it is said that numbers 49 and 53 foretell death, serious disease or accidents for the owners. The assumption is based on the Chinese horoscope. Number 78 would mean financial losses due to its pronunciation.

Selling lucky sim cards has become a lucrative business in the country where many cell phone users seek good numbers.

There has yet to be any research done on the effectiveness of lucky numbers, but at least we can see that it is helping the sellers become ridiculously rich. What a business!